Craving pancakes past sundown? It doesn’t take a late-night trip to IHOP to satisfy a hankering. Whatever you call it (“brinner”? “dreakfast”?), breakfast for dinner can be comforting — and cutting-edge.
“A lot of times, haute cuisine starts out in the trenches, in the fields, and then gets elevated,” says CityZen executive chef Eric Ziebold, who regularly riffs on morning standards such as French toast and scrapple as part of his high-end, dinner-only tasting menus.
Here are a few dishes that could whet your appetite for the most important meal of the day, at any hour:
‘Sexy’ Egg Sandwich
Chef Ciji Wagner has always had a soft spot for egg sandwiches. So when she was creating the Drafting Table’s menu, Wagner aimed to create “a more adult, refined version.” The result is her “sexy egg sandwich” ($10), a massive meal consisting of two over-easy eggs atop thick prosciutto, arugula and red peppers. It’s sandwiched between herb aioli-smeared sourdough bread and best served with a stack of napkins.
“I call it the sexy egg sandwich because it’s so big and messy that there’s no way you could possibly look sexy while eating it,” Wagner jokes.
Drafting Table, 1529 14th St. NW; 202-621-7475.
Chicken and Waffles; Fried Green Tomatoes
Chicken and waffles ($17) initially appeared on Southern Hospitality’s brunch menu but has since graduated to dinner because of demand. The dish is rushed to the table as soon as the waffles are removed from the iron. The fried green tomatoes ($7.50), served as a “small plate” at both brunch and dinner, are coated in a crunchy, herb-specked breading and served with a side of tangy remoulade.
“It’s comfort food,” says owner Anthony Lupo.
Southern Hospitality, 1815 Adams Mill Road NW; 202-588-0411.
Cashion’s chef-owner John Manolatos had breakfast for dinner almost once a week as a kid, so including it at his restaurant was a no-brainer. “It conjures up childhood memories,” he says.
He serves scrapple — a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dish of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, flour and spices — as an appetizer. Made with pork shoulder (rather than the traditional feet, tail and head meat), Manolatos’ version ($12) has a lighter, more mousse-like texture than its peers. It’s served with toast, greens, Tabasco beurre blanc and a sunny-side up egg.
Cashion’s Eat Place, 1819 Columbia Road NW; 202-797-1819.
Soft-Boiled Egg With French Toast
CityZen executive chef Eric Ziebold regularly puts different spins on breakfast in his tasting and four-course prix fixe menus, which change about every six weeks. In the past, he’s topped a soft-boiled egg and French toast with a lobster ragout.
In one of Ziebold’s most recent creations (on the six-course vegetarian tasting menu, $115), a soft-boiled egg was served on a slice of savory French toast and drenched in creamy mushroom sauce.
CityZen, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW; 202-787-6148.
This Southwestern breakfast of fried eggs on corn tortillas is the Satellite Room’s hearty take on breakfast for dinner. It’s made with black beans, guacamole, cilantro, fried eggs, cotija cheese and smoky chipotle salsa ($9). The dinner menu also features other breakfast items including chorizo-and-potato hash and buttermilk pancakes — making the diner ideal for an assortment of cravings.
“Somebody might be feeling breakfast because they work late, and other people might be feeling dinner,” manager Emily Wessel says.
There’s nothing like having both types of meals available — or creatively combined.
Satellite Room, 2047 9th St. NW; 202-506-2496.